Biogenic scorodite crystallization by Acidianus sulfidivorans for arsenic removal

P.A. Gonzalez-Contreras, J. Weijma, R.D. van der Weijden, C.J.N. Buisman

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73 Citations (Scopus)


Scorodite is an arsenic mineral with the chemical formula FeAsO4·2H2O. It is the most common natural arsenate associated with arsenic-bearing ore deposits. In the present study we show that the thermoacidophilic iron-oxidizing archaeon Acidianus sulfidivorans is able to precipitate scorodite in the absence of any primary minerals or seed crystals, when grown on 0.7 g L-1 ferrous iron (Fe2+) at 80 °C and pH 1 in the presence of 1.9 g L-1 arsenate (H3AsO4). The simultaneous biologically induced crystallization of ferric iron (Fe3+) and arsenic to scorodite prevented accumulation of ferric iron. As a result, crystal growth was favored over primary nucleation which resulted in the formation of highly crystalline biogenic scorodite very similar to the mineral scorodite. Because mineral scorodite has a low water solubility and high chemical stability, scorodite crystallization may form the basis for a novel method for immobilization of arsenic from contaminated waters with high arsenic concentrations
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-680
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • atmospheric-pressure conditions
  • center-dot 2h(2)o
  • ferric arsenate
  • sulfate-solutions
  • solubility
  • stability
  • precipitation
  • feaso4.2h2o
  • mine
  • ferrihydrite


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